The TDSIT Blog

Print Assessment 101

Posted by Tim Stanley on Wed, Jul 22, 2015 @ 10:20 AM

print assessment

If you're looking for ways to reduce your office budget, but think you've exhausted every option, think again. The office print environment is an area where substantial savings can often be had. A Managed Print Services (MPS) provider can help starting with a detailed print assessment designed to identify where your money is being spent, opportunities to reduce costs, increase productivity and cut down on waste. 

What Is A Print Assessment?

A print assessment encompasses the monitoring of all print devices in your organization, over a set period of time. Once the information is gathered, a detailed report is presented, along with opportunities for improvement. Thanks to recent inroads in technology, software used to gather print data is quick, easy and accurate allowing businesses to gain an immediate understanding of their print network. 

What to Expect

Your print assessment may be carried out in a variety of ways, depending on the size and scope of your organization. Options include:

  • Walk About - For non-networked devices, or smaller operations, a walk around the office can yield significant results. By taking an inventory of all non-networked and networked devices, and running a configuration sheet at the start and end of the day, you can get an estimate of average daily print volumes. From there, volumes can be projected for a set period of time, and the necessary adjustments can be made. 
  • Deploying Print Assessment Software - For managers wishing to gain valuable insight into their actual cost of printing, print volumes and workflow, print assessment software can provide a more in-depth picture. 
  • Onsite Services - Perfect for large scale operations, businesses with multiple offices, or for those operating on an international level. A more in-depth assessment may be required, as bigger organizations tend to have less transparency in regards to expenses due to a fragmented print network. 
     

An MPS provider will work with you to improve and streamline your print environment. A print assessment is the first step in this process and one that can generate immediate savings. Most organizations view printing as a necessary cost of doing business, but left unmanaged, can result in inefficiency, overspending and unnecessary waste. Partnering with an experienced MPS provider, is the best way to avoid these pitfalls, leaving you more time and resources to put towards growing your business. 

For a no-obligation print environment assessment, contact us today.

Tags: managed service provider, document management, print assessment, cost effective print, document assessment, control print costs, printing costs

How to Maximize Your MPS Experience in Two Simple Steps

Posted by Tim Stanley on Wed, Oct 15, 2014 @ 11:17 AM

Managed Print Services
There is no better way to manage your intricate print environment, than by partnering with a Managed Print Services (MPS) provider. In addition to experiencing an improved workflow and the benefits of an optimized infrastructure, this service can also help to lower the burden on your IT department while improving employee productivity throughout your office. Maximize your MPS experience by choosing a partner that will help you elevate your business, through sustained, long term goals and development; here are two simple steps you can take to make the most of your investment.

Look Towards the Future

Success in business is dependent upon a number of factors, including the ability to evolve as customer needs change, along with technology. A flexible agreement can help maximize your MPS experience by giving you the option to expand or extend your engagement as needed. It's up to both you and your MPS provider to continually assess and evaluate current and future technology solutions, to help you stay one step ahead of your competition while streamlining your network and saving time and money. One such example would be the implementation of a secure, mobile print solution to accommodate the growing trend of printing from personal smartphones or tablets. 

Customize Your Print Solutions

Your MPS partnership should begin with a thorough evaluation of your current IT infrastructure, to identify software and hardware solutions that can help to maximize your MPS experience and enhance your print network. If you're looking to upgrade or expand your current technology, consider incorporating multi-function printers (MFPs) into your print environment. These all-in-one units are capable of scanning, emailing, printing or copying with the touch of a button, have compelling workflow capabilities, and act as a bridge to cloud technology. Look for an MPS provider that will help you find solutions to the challenges unique within your organization, and help you realize your individual business goals.

Maximize your MPS experience by choosing a vendor that is more than just a service provider, but a valued member of your team. Regardless of the nature of your business, or whether you're looking to enhance or upgrade your existing print network, your MPS partnership can help you to reduce costs, improve productivity, and let you focus on what's really important: improving your bottom line.

To find out how much your business spends on print, click here for your free print assessment: 

Print Assessment

Tags: managed print services, managed service provider, control print costs, multifunction printer

Your Win-Win Strategy with Rules Based Printing

Posted by Tim Stanley on Mon, Sep 15, 2014 @ 11:25 AM

print rulesWith today’s economy, businesses are seeking ways to reduce operating expenses while also keeping productivity and efficiency high.  This can be a challenging task for some business owners and managers because their days are already filled with running the business.  There is very little time left to look for ways to reduce costs or increase efficiency.

Reducing operating expenses, however, can significantly contribute to your business profitability.  And increased efficiency can grow sales, while also improving customer service.  Business owners and managers should dedicate time to reviewing these opportunities and implement changes where possible.

Print management is one area that is often overlooked but can provide a wealth of opportunity in decreased expenses and increased productivity.  Rules based printing has several key benefits:

  • Lower operating expenses
  • Increased longevity for printers
  • Higher productivity for employees
  • Better automation and quality

The steps to implementing rules based printing include:

1. Take an inventory of all printers including network, wireless, desktop and others.

2. Determine rules around color printing - when it should be used, or what individuals or departments should be permitted to print in color.

3. Set rules on two-sided printing and high quality printing – what should be the default print setting for most employees?

4. Route certain print jobs to be more convenient for employees in certain departments.

5. Note your current maintenance costs plus paper and consumables expenses and track the savings after implementing new print rules.

Your print rules can be reviewed and refined over time, but you can start by setting certain default rules and then applying exceptions when needed.  With this effort your business can realize some substantial savings while also increasing department productivity.

To find out how much your business spends on print, click here for your free print assessment: 

Print Assessment

Tags: multifunction print devices, control print costs, Rules based printing, print rules

How Can A Print Driver Help Your Business?

Posted by Tim Stanley on Wed, Jul 16, 2014 @ 11:04 AM

print driverPrint drivers are pieces of software designed to help printers on your network connect and work within your office environment.  Different makes and models of printers each have different print drivers, and the capabilities of those print drivers can vary greatly.

When many types of printers are used in a business office, the IT support group may find the management and support of all the different print drivers to be challenging.

Before investing in new printing technology or any sophisticated software products to help with print management, consider looking at the print driver features and options that are available.

Some of the options to consider include:

  • User restrictions including number of copies, color printing, and document file types
  • Application defaults so that certain types of documents are only allowed to print in black & white.  For example Outlook emails when printed default to black and white
  • Job status information to provide users with updates on whether their particular print job has completed or if there are problems
  • Double sided versus single sided default printing in order to save paper for green eco-friendly initiatives

While most printer drivers seem like small insignificant pieces of software, they can be extremely helpful in reducing the expense of office printing.

To reduce the challenges that many IT groups face with supporting multiple print drivers, businesses are moving to the advantages of more intelligent print drivers.  The benefits for intelligent print drivers can save a business time and money by enforcing consistent print policies, allowing easier maintenance and support, and better managing the use of toner and paper supplies.

To find out how much your business spends on print, click here for your free print assessment: 

Print Assessment

Tags: control print costs, TDSIT, total cost of printing, Print driver

4 Ways to Help Lower Color Printing Costs in Your Office

Posted by Tim Stanley on Wed, Oct 16, 2013 @ 11:09 AM

 TDS lower costs

Internal office expenses can sometimes exceed their budget, printing costs being one of the biggest culprits. However, there are ways you can easily lower your printing costs without having to sacrifice so much of your print jobs, toner, or even the fluidity of printing during the daily responsibilities of the office. In fact, there are four ways that not only help lower costs but also ensure that your office is working at a much more efficient pace when it comes to their printing tasks.

    1.  Inter-Office Printing Policies. Most major offices have a set of rules that need to be adhered to when it comes to printing, such as printing with two-sided paper, not using so much color toner, and other such policies. This is because even the mere talk of a printing policy can significantly reduce unneeded printing jobs, not to mention the 10% you'll be saving with color printing.

    2.  Include Defaults on Print Drivers. Speaking of policies that include printing on two-sided paper or only in black and white, these things can actually be turned into default settings on all of the office computers and devices connected to the printer. Not only does it help when a policy might already be put in place but it also lowers the cost of accidental prints.

    3.  Create a Managed Print Program. This is different than a print policy and default settings in that there is a theory behind it and a structured organization on top of technology ensuring all print jobs are within reason. A Managed Print Program can also help an office become even more environmentally friendly on top of lowering printing costs. In fact, you could see between a ten to 30% savings compared to your current costs with a proper Managed Print Program.

    4.  Monochrome is an Option. Another great way to get your printing jobs completed without the over-the-top costs is by printing in monochrome or using only black and white print devices. Monochrome is as legible as black and white or color and only requires one toner cartridge to work properly.

    Implementing just one of these tips can mean a whole world's difference in your printing costs and print device budgeting. Utilizing all four in some capacity will see marked improvements in your costs and help your business save money every month.

    To find out how much your business spends on print, click here for your free print assessment: 

    Print Assessment

    Tags: control print costs, save money on print, color printing, print costs

    Purchase or Lease MFPs: The 7-Point Comparison

    Posted by Tim Stanley on Fri, Sep 21, 2012 @ 01:22 PM

    Office Equipment These days our business world is full of options. Full-time or contract? Sales or marketing? Two- or three-ply in the corporate washrooms? 

    While the benefits of single-, double- or triple-ply are easy to fathom, knowing whether it is smarter to purchase or lease your new Multi-Function Printer (MFP) can be a toilsome decision. Which will get you the technology you need now to empower your users? Which one will be cheaper in the long run all things considered? Will it affect your service contracts?

    There are plenty of elements to consider when deciding whether leasing or purchasing your new equipment is right for you. For example, will being able to write-off purchased equipment benefit your business? Will purchasing negatively impact your current cash flow?

    Each side of the lease/purchase coin has its benefits, so consider the following points when deciding whether to lease or purchase your new MFP.

    Leasing
    When considering leasing equipment you should consider things like how long you will require the equipment for (and therefore how long the lease will be), is there a buy-out option at the end of the lease, what type of equipment guarantees are there etc. Be sure to consider how the following points affect your company's objectives: 

    1.  Cash Flow: leasing has significantly smaller upfront costs as the sticker price is deferred over the long term. This can free up company cash to invest in other projects. Not only is the upfront cost mitigated, you also can control your cash flow by knowing exactly how much you will need to reserve for lease payments. 

    2. Flexibility: Leasing agreements often come with flexible payment plans that allow you to customize your equipment payment schedule. In addition, leasing office equipment can empower you with upgrades and trade-in opportunities that upfront purchases often can't offer. 

    3. Value: When your lease ends the value of the equipment may by higher than that of outright-purchased machines—offering you residual value over time. 

    Downsides: Often it is hard to know exactly how long that piece of equipment will suit your needs and early termination of lease agreements generally incurs expensive penalties. Also, you may get caught with automatic renewals with terms that are less than favorable to you. 

      It is best to think long-term before you commit to a lease, and discuss renewal options before you sign. 

      Purchasing
      When contemplating purchasing your equipment outright you need to consider issues of scalability, cost and value.

      1. Lower Upfront Costs: Purchasing your MFP(s) outright is generally cheaper in the long run as it locks in your costs for life and avoids you paying additional costs for things like penalties and interest. 

      2. Value: Owning assets may be a plus for your company in terms of liquidity. Purchasing your MFP(s) also gives you a write-off that could help your company with this year's taxes. 

      Downsides: Purchasing office equipment upfront can affect the scalability of your solution, along with negatively affecting your cash flow in the short term. Once you no longer have use for the equipment you may find it doesn't hold the same value it once did. Also, your trade-in and/or upgrade options may be limited—which can adversely affect you keeping up with technological advances. 

        Deciding whether to lease or purchase your MFP and other office equipment is an important—and personal—decision that must be carefully weighed. Whether your current circumstances dictate that leasing or purchasing is right for you in the long term, be sure to also carefully weigh what type of service contract(s) you'll be needing alongside the MFP. 

        If you've made the decision to purchase or lease equipment in the past, we'd love to hear how it turned out for you—we encourage you to share your experiences with us. 

        Click here to find out how much your business spends on print with our free print assessment

        Print Assessment

        Tags: control print costs, lease multifunction printer, scanner, copier, office equipment, fax machine, Purchase multifunction Printer